Bevel: Beyond the ‘ethnic’ aisle

Kai Ryssdal Aug 11, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Bevel: Beyond the ‘ethnic’ aisle

Kai Ryssdal Aug 11, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Walker and Company CEO Tristan Walker had a hard time shaving. When he was 15, he tried a multi-blade razor and woke up with bumps and rashes on his face the next morning.

So, in 2013, Walker founded a company to solve problems in the health and beauty space for the African American community. Their first product is called Bevel, a shaving system designed specifically for men with coarse and curly hair.

“It’s razor bumps and razor burn. It’s a problem that 80 percent of black men and black women have, and it’s a problem that 30 percent of other races have.”

Bevel works through a multi-step process. You start by applying oil and then shaving cream with a brush, using a single blade razor, and finishing with a moisturizer. The starter kit costs $59.95, and 90-day replenishment kits cost $30 each. That’s a total of $150 for the products.

Tristan Walker knows this is a high price for a shaving kit:

“I reflect back on my experience of going to a retail shop, having to go to the ethnic aisle that’s not really an aisle, that’s really a shelf. Then I have to reach to the bottom of that shelf for a package that’s dirty. Like, that entire second-class citizen experience… it’s not great. Considering how much money we spend on these things, how much need we have for products that work, I think having a respect for the customer is incredibly important.”

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.